Nocturnus AD’s Paradox is a death metal masterpiece on par with the infamous classic - The Key ! (Review)

09/06/2019 Reviews Share

Nocturnus AD’s Paradox is a death metal masterpiece on par with the infamous classic - The Key! (Review)

Band: Nocturnus AD
Album: Paradox
Record Label: Profound Lore Records
Release Date:  May 24th 2019

Here we go!  Nocturnus AD are remnants of the once almighty Tampa, Florida death metal band Nocturnus. The only original member in this lineup is the vocalist and the drummer  Mike Browning – the backbone and creative mastermind of Nocturnus. The band have just released their debut album  Paradox on May 4th via Profound Lore Records. And here is our examination of this album!

What’s worth noticing from the start is the fact that this is actually a 52-minutes-long release! And YES, Nocturnus AD has keyboards, an instrument that made Nocturnus a step ahead of the rest of Tampa Florida Death metal bands in the 90s.  When you take a look at the album cover, you’ll think: “Well, is this The Key Part II or something?“ Is it possible to do such a thing twice?  The album is opened by a track called Seizing the Throne. It starts with keyboard effects. And Nocturnus AD kicks in with full force, old school death metal style! And I must say that these riffs are pretty tasty indeed! A couple of them are synchronized with the keyboards. And despite the lineup change, you really get the Nocturnus AD vibe seepin into the tiniest pores of Paradox! Quite a surprise! The Bandar Sign has this Eastern-like keyboard scale going on! Exotic to say the least! And the same can be said for the guitar riff! This is quite a headbangable track actually! All of a sudden, the keyboards announce the calm before the storm and the whole thing erupts in an evil, death metal way! These boys are delivering cut-throat solos! Mike Browning has retained his signature vocal style! His growls are killer and  on spot, as if the guy was in his 20s! And good luck with getting rid of the main riff from your ears!

Paleolithic starts with double bass carnage! The whole track is brutal as fuck! The most intense moment in this song is when  the keyboards, guitars and blast beats all of a sudden become a 3-headed monster of some sorts! Gotta love the old school death metal vibe! And there’s actually more to it, than just mimicking the ways of the elders! Josh Holdren is actually one of the few keyboardist I like! His solos are beyond awesome! Preccession of the Equinox is another face-melting track! Those riffs sound like an asteroid storm! After all the pounding, the song has this tiny, proggy break before suddenly exploding with the most dissonant riff on the album! And that sounds like Voivod on a bad acid trip or something! This track is really dynamic ’cause afterwards, a groovy riff takes the lead! This is surely one of the best songs on the album. The Antechamber is brutal as fuck from start to finish. It also incorporates these crazy oriental influences! Belial Koblak and Demian Heftel are raping those guitars mercilessly! Their malevolent, dual guitar attack will leave no one indifferent!  This is another headbangable track!  The Return of the Lost Key is an obvious reference to the infamous, and one of the most influential Tampa, Florida death metal albums  of all time – The Key!  And we are talking about the longest track on the album! Mike Browning’s ghoulish vocals and drum parts are absolutely brutal in this track! He really the mastered double bass & the blastbeats! Gotta love the flow and the ghastly atmosphere coming out of the keyboards! And this song even has this epic, open-wide Emperor-esque thing going on!  Apothesis starts with a heartbeat sound and this weird, alien noise in the background. And this is some unearthly stuff for sure! In-your-face death metal assault from beginning to the end! Apothesis has some of the most interesting and whole lotta hypnotic lead-covering riffs! Aeon of the Ancient Ones will put a smile on the face of every Lovecraft fan! This one is an evil sounding, meat-grinding  death metal assault! And the last, 9th track is called The Nine! How clever is that? This one reminds of some newer Kreator material to a certain extent. This one is an instrumental and it is by far the slowest, and the most melodic death metal oriented track on the album. 


When you hear the word „keyboard“ a few bands come to mind – The Doors, Rammstein and Nocturnus! Nocturnus AD’s Paradox is the best comeback album I’ve heard since Pestilence’s Hadeon!! Paradox is overall a strong, death metal album. What I really like about it the most is the fact that Nocturnus AD kept the essential vibe from the old Nocturnus and spiced it up with some new elements such as Eastern-sounding scales that can be heard throughout the whole album.  The new lineup works like a charm! Mike Browninng’s unstoppable drumming and hellish growls seem to be untouched by time! The bad thing? Error 404, bass player not found!  Nonetheless, Paradox is a death metal masteriece standing shoulder to shoulder with Nocturnus’ infamous album The Key!  If we had to wait 29 years for this to happen, it was worth it!

Rating: 8/10

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